Sunday, February 26, 2006

Prolific Actor Darren McGavin Dies at 83

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Darren McGavin was painting a movie set in 1945 when he learned of an opening for a small role in the show, climbed off his ladder, and returned through Columbia's front gates to land the part. The husky, tough-talking performer went on to become one of the busiest actors in television and film, starring in five TV series, including "Mike Hammer," and endearing holiday audiences with his role as the grouchy dad in the 1983 comedy classic "A Christmas Story."

McGavin, 83, died Saturday of natural causes at a Los Angeles-area hospital with his family at his side, said his son Bogart McGavin.

McGavin also had leading roles in TV's "Riverboat" and cult favorite "Kolchak: The Night Stalker." Among his memorable portrayals was Gen. George Patton in the 1979 TV biography "Ike."

*To read the story in its entirety, click here.

This one makes me very sad. I may not have been around when they originally aired, but I first remember seeing McGavin in episodes of shows like Tales of Tomorrow, Suspense and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. And of course, one of his best-known roles in the classic movie The Man With the Golden Arm. Then in the 70's, came TV favorites like the made for TV movie Something Evil, Happy Mother's Day, Love George (Gavin's directorial debut) and a personal favorite: Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Then came the 80's with Hangar 18, episodes of The Love Boat, an episode of the TV show Monsters (I miss that show) and last but certainly not least, a perennial favorite (and a Christmas tradition for many households), A Christmas Story. That was by no means the end of his career, however. He went on to do a lot of movie and TV work throughout the 90's and was even gracious enough to have an uncredited (WTF?!) cameo in the shitball remake of his original TV series The Night Stalker.

It always saddens me when someone I grew up with (in a pop culture sense) passes away. It reminds you that you're getting older and sometimes the only things that truly last are the memories you have. Watching A Christmas Story this year is going to be a little bittersweet knowing that Darren McGavin is no longer with us. R.I.P., Darren.


Blogger KlutzyJenn said...

it felt like one of my own personal family members died, when I saw on that he passed away. It is a tradition in our family since I was a young'n we watch A Christmas Story all through out Dec. and especially the TNT marathon on Christmas day.
He will be sadly missed.

Pop quiz... did you know that the kid in the movie turned out to be a VMD.. a vet doctor. Cool, I read that in a people magazine before.

Monday, February 27, 2006 1:15:00 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

I so wsih they would have reruns of Nightstalker. It was great.
It was a very sad weekend for some of us older (40-ish) types.
Barney Fife

Monday, February 27, 2006 2:50:00 PM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

I'm not sure which kid you're referring to. I know that Peter Billingsley (AKA "Ralphie") went on to be a movie producer. Oh! And most notorious, Scott Schwartz (AKA "Flick"...the kid who licks the pun intended) went on to do porn (Scotty's X-Rated Adventure, The Wrong Snatch, Dirty Bob's Xcellent Adventures 35 & 36, New Wave Hookers 5...LOL! Hilarious!)

Oh man, I loved that show! They did a marathon on the Sci-Fi channel about a month ago. I recorded it, but still haven't found the time to watch it. HOWEVER, you know the whole series is on a 3-DVD set now, right?

Thanks for taking the time to comment! :)

Friday, March 10, 2006 12:20:00 PM  

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